VIDEO & RECAP: Missouri State 77, Southern Illinois 42


SPRINGFIELD – Missouri State women’s basketball improved to 18-7 (12-4 MVC) on the season with a dominant 77-42 victory against Southern Illinois (8-18, 3-13 MVC) here Sunday afternoon at Great Southern Bank Arena.

The Lady Bears’ defensive effort was the highlight of the day as Missouri State held the Salukis to their lowest point total of the season. MSU limited SIU to just 28 percent (13-47) from the field and 30 percent (3-10) from three-point range.

Missouri State dominated on the glass, 41-20, and outscored the Salukis, 18-0, in second-chance opportunities as the Lady Bears tied their largest margin of victory this season at 35 points.

It was all Lady Bears from the jump in this one as Missouri State reeled off a 14-2 run over the final 5:01 of the first quarter, capped by a Paige Rocca triple as the quarter came to an end, to own a 23-9 lead after the first 10 minutes in Springfield. MSU held the Salukis to 4-of-14 from the field (.286) while the Lady Bears went 10-for-18 (.556), led by Paige Rocca with seven first-quarter points on 3-for-3 from the field.

The second quarter saw the Lady Bears get a little sloppy, turning the ball over seven times leading to six SIU points. The Salukis owned the slight advantage in the second period, 14-12, led by Laniah Randle (22 pts., 8-16 FG) with nine second-quarter points. However, the Lady Bears held a 12-point, 35-23, lead at the break.

Out of the intermission, the Lady Bears didn’t look back as they outscored the Salukis 42-19 in the final two quarters.

Missouri State continued to dominate in all facets of the game, holding SIU to four field goals (.308), three total rebounds and 10 points in the third quarter. Rocca and Kennedy Taylor each contributed six points in the third as MSU was a perfect 6-for-6 at the free throw line to extend its lead to 22 points with a quarter remaining.

The fourth quarter saw all 14 Lady Bears touch the court with seven different scorers in the final 10 minutes. Missouri State smothered the Southern Illinois offense, limiting them to just 10 percent (1-10) from the field and forced six turnovers down the stretch. With a 13-point scoring margin in the fourth, MSU cruised to a 35-point, 77-42, victory.

Rocca was one of MSU’s leading scorers with 15 points on a perfect shooting day (6-6 FG, 1-1 3FG, 2-2 FT), while also dishing out three assists. Taylor joined as MSU’s other leading scorer with a 15-point, 11-rebound performance to collect her sixth double-double of the season.

Missouri State welcomes Bradley on Thursday, Feb. 29 as the Lady Bears continue a three-game home stand. Tipoff against the Braves is set for 6:30 p.m. and the game will stream on ESPN+.

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